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Is the WeChat social retail model likely to catch on everywhere?

December 17th 2018

 

The Chinese online business model, typified by WeChat, is leading to a kind of platform-based hegemony underpinned by ‘total life’ apps. Can this ‘social e-commerce’ model be replicated across the rest of the world? Not sure.

 

The West – in the wake of recent scandals – seems to have woken up to the potential dangers that may arise if intermediation platforms are able to achieve a monopoly position. In China on the other hand, the WeChat social network continues its amazing rise. WeChat, which claimed to have passed the milestone of a billion users a few months ago, now enjoys a quasi-monopolistic hold over the country’s social network-based business. And what a country it is! China is one of the most connected areas of the planet, with 770 million active Internet users, over 724 million of whom claim to use WeChat every day. And given that, on average, every Chinese citizen spends close to 90 minutes per day on the social networks, WeChat seems to have beautiful days ahead of it, considered considered as the Asian Facebook, it aims at being much more than that and could even lay the foundation of a new-generation, social network-based approach to e-commerce.

 

A fully-integrated ecosystem

 

In fact, the ‘platformisation’ of the economy that is now place in China is in many respects quite different from what is happening in Western countries. There are obvious cultural differences and neither the economic paradigms nor the governance models are the same. Nevertheless, they do have in common the goal often stated by the CEOs of the various networks and platforms: to build integrated ecosystems covering the vast majority – not to say the whole – of human interactions, be they social, political or economic.

 

Yvonne Li, a Brand Consultant at Q1 Consulting, a Chinese consultancy specialising in business intelligence, underlines: “Nowadays, WeChat is no longer only an app but an integral ecosystem providing services for your whole life.” The consequence of this is that WeChat seems to be becoming vital in people’s day-to-day lives. It is as if the app has now become a super-platform with a scarcely-disguised monopoly on all trade and all interactions between people. Ms Li points out that “WeChat works hard to create an ecosystem to bring all required partners together to develop the WeChat world (...) Now you can do everything within WeChat, including shopping, ordering taxis, restaurants, food delivery, city services, payments and so on.” This ‘all-inclusive’ platform certainly has the advantage of simplicity: everything available and accessible in one place, a centralised system around which gravitate a huge number of interconnected applications.

 

Mini-programmes spearheading an e-commerce revolution

 

These mini-programmes are nowadays drawing the attention of all Chinese retailers. Indeed close to 600,000 apps are already linked to the super- platform, bringing a total of 170 million users every day. Fully integrated into the WeChat social network, these apps interact with it, not only offering ease of use but increasing the likelihood that the content will go viral. In line with the unified approach of the ‘total platform’, WeChat also integrates financial services such as the WeChat Wallet, which now brings 69% of all revenue on the platform. It provides multiple functionality: ranging from instant online payment to offline payment based on QR codes, plus a consumer credit service.

 

This business model is not however exclusive to China. We already know Facebook Marketplace and Google Shopping. But this approach is clearly not as popular in the west as it is in China. This is mainly due to the force of habit: people are still firmly attached to bricks-and-mortar stores, and personal data protection is a key concern. After all, in this new social e-commerce world, the watchwords are interdependence and intercommunication, with everything underpinned by user data.

 

Online platforms accumulating totalitarian powers?

 

Meanwhile Chinese citizens certainly do not seem troubled by things about make Westerners hesitate – and are perhaps excessively concerned about their own privacy and ensuring full transparency on the use made of their personal data. “In China, people’s concern for data privacy is not quite as strict as among Western people. Apple Pay cannot find its way in Western countries, whereas in China a hundred million people use mobile payment and release their personal data as a matter of course,” explains China expert Yvonne Li. Nevertheless, the potential pitfall of totalitarian control is never far away. By taking on the guise of mini-societies that manage and control interaction between citizens and shaping behaviour by way of their conditions of use, the intermediation platforms are implicitly setting out to become a sort of basic governance mechanism, taking over some of the ‘royal’ prerogatives of sovereign states. We can certainly read this fear into some of the decisions made by the Chinese authorities, leading them to repeatedly curb the activities of the social networks. Similar concerns undoubtedly also explain what prompted various legislative bodies to summon Mark Zuckerberg to take part in a number of official hearings in recent months.

 

Written in partnership with l'Atelier

 

 


BNP Paribas Cardif supports women entrepreneurs alongside fintexx – women in finance

January 29th 2019

 

With the Paris Fintech Forum – a major international event in finance and tech – set for the end of January, the European initiative fintexx – women in finance and insurer BNP Paribas Cardif have invited numerous female heads of startups on 28 January 2019 to discuss the fintechs that are transforming our daily lives and in particular the role and contribution of women in finance and tech. See bellow the interview with Nathalie Doré, Chief Digital & Acceleration Officer of BNP Paribas Cardif and Carolin Gabor, Managing Partner of finleap and founder of fintexx – women in finance

 

What is fintexx – women in finance? And could you tell us a little about the event you are organizing during Paris Fintech Forum with BNP Paribas Cardif?

Carolin Gabor : fintexx – women in finance is a finleap initiative, founded by me in 2016, with the aim to give women working in the tech and finance industry more visibility and networking opportunities. It consists of an exclusive circle of C-level women, who up until now have built a strong network within the financial industry. We usually meet for lunch or dinner. The fintexx women events have already been to London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt or Zurich. The focus is on networking, finding joint business opportunities and supporting each other. What is also important to me is the opportunities the initiative provides to the next generation of women, interested in a career in finance or tech, as well as continuing to strengthen and support successful females in financial services. These young and tech-savvy women are close to my heart. At finleap, a European company builder for fintechs, we foster diverse teams and are very proud to have as many women as men in leading positions.

I was really looking forward to the event with BNP Paribas Cardif. Nathalie and I have been in contact for a long time and I’m very excited to bring fintexx to the Paris Fintech Week and to meet great and inspiring women with different backgrounds and from different nations.

 

Why is BNP Paribas Cardif teaming up with the fintexx – women in finance initiative?

Nathalie Doré: We’re delighted to be partnering with the fintexx – women in finance initiative. We’re very involved in the startup ecosystem, since open innovation is a pillar of our strategy. Through our C. Entrepreneurs investment fund, which was created in 2016 and is managed by Cathay Innovation, we provide funding for a dozen startups. In addition to funding we support them by helping them establish a framework that will drive their growth. We pursue a project with every startup we invest in. We make this a condition both to accelerate our own transformation and to let the startups test the appetite of new markets, since we work with more than 500 partner distributors and we count 100 million policyholders.

We also work with many other startups without necessarily investing in them. Clark, a insurtech startup supported by finleap, is a good example. I met Caroline at the Women’s Forum. We were speakers on the same round table about women in fintech. We quickly discovered shared business interests around platforms and we now work together via our project with Clark in Germany. We also share a desire to make the banking industry and fintech more accessible to women. In general, the higher you go on the organization chart, the rarer women become. In finance there is a balance if you look at the overall numbers, but when you get to top management the proportion of women drops to 15%. I’m proud to be working at a company where this is not the case: our executive committee is close to gender parity. It’s important to push for change to introduce better gender balance in our industry. We know that insufficient diversity has a negative economic impact and a negative impact on society. We believe it’s important to support initiatives that contribute to gender equality such as those proposed by fintexx – women in finance. And one way to change things is to make women in finance more visible, to mobilize engaged networks such as fintexx and reach out to women leaders in the industry and invite them to share their experiences during events such as these, because they serve as important role models.

 

fintexx – women in finance encourages dialogue between the heads of startups. How prominent are women in online and digital businesses today?

Nathalie: A recent study by Syntec Numérique showed that women account for just 27.5% of the employees in digital businesses, and that they are even rarer when it comes to technical positions such as development or data science. And this is the case in other countries as well. I realized the scale of this issue when I was living in the United States. The good news, though, is that we can all make a difference by taking actions within our companies. Although diversity is low among graduates of schools where digital skills are taught, it’s essential to make sure people are aware that they can change their career directions by exposing them to role models, and by promoting greater gender balance.

The fourth industrial revolution will see changes in a host of different skills in order to evolve and adapt to the new needs of businesses and to new modes of consumption. There will be growing demand for people with tech skills. This is why last year BNP Paribas Cardif teamed up with General Assembly, a pioneer in education and career transformation, specializing in today’s most in-demand skills to prepare our teams for this major change. We’ve committed to training 1,000 employees by the end of 2022 and to opening these training sessions to the employees of our partner distributors and to the BNP Paribas Group. During the second half of 2018 over 100 employees were trained in UX Design, agile methodologies and data science. Plus, we had an almost equal number of men and women from the company, which is very encouraging.

Carolin: The proportion of female founders is still very small when it comes to founding tech start-ups. Even though the number of women starting a new business has risen in recent years, the male "entrepreneurs" still dominate. For me, the critical stage is childhood. Women must be shown early on, at school or university, that an entrepreneurial career can be an attractive option for them. And this is where economic policy initiatives come in. Although there are privately initiated women networks, such as ours, there is also a need on the political side to increase the visibility of female digital entrepreneurs and to support their networking. If young women see female entrepreneurs as role models and an inspiration for success, this takes away their fear of such a career and motivates them. In addition, women have to overcome many more hurdles when it comes to setting up a business, e.g. raising capital. I know many stories of women who report on the challenge of pitching exclusively in front of men and convincing them.

 

Carolin spoke about her various commitments through the fintexx – women in finance initiative. Nathalie, what are you doing to encourage and recognize women in digital professions?

Nathalie: I’m quite proud to have co-organized with Clara Terrien, a French executive who is very active in the Silicon Valley tech sector, and in conjunction with Chiara Corazza, Managing Director of the Women’s Forum the first delegation from Silicon Valley to attend the Women’s Forum in Paris a year ago. It gave me a chance to make my voice heard on the issue of the position of women in fintech. The Women’s Forum is a very influential event that has an impact on a variety of diversity issues. When I was head of the Atelier BNP Paribas in San Francisco I was also head of the French American Women Executives Community, which provides opportunities for co-development and networking. Today I’m the sponsor of a mentoring programme for the BNP Paribas MixCity association, which was created by female executives from the BNP Paribas Group to facilitate the rise of women to top management positions and to promote better work/life balance. As part of the programme I’m mentoring a young woman manager, a role that I find tremendously motivating. It’s important to speak out on this issue, because women are the founders of only 20 to 30% of new businesses in industrialized and developed countries. This situation is very closely linked to education and culture. Women tend to create more barriers for themselves and have a tendency to practice self-censorship. So it’s important to support initiatives that encourage diversity and to promote awareness of these issues among younger generations.

 


BNP Paribas Cardif France is holding a solidarity week in Nanterre in aid of local charities

 

 

 

From 7th to 11th January, 2019, BNP Paribas Cardif is holding a solidarity week to help charities around Nanterre, where the insurer has been operating since 2011.

 

Over 300 employees from the Customer Service Division, all of them volunteers, will participate in some twenty workshops during their working hours in support of 14 local charities working in the fields of childhood, environment, disability, health and combatting exclusion. All employees can participate in this charitable operation, regardless of their status (work placement, permanent, fixed-term and temporary).

 

In partnership with Unis-Cité association, which specialises in organising corporate charitable initiatives, 1,000 working hours are made available to charities to help them carry out concrete projects which meet real needs. Some employees will create murals in a residence for people with disabilities, while others will take care of second hand items and clothes in a charity shop. Cooking workshops with children with autistic disorders and the construction of a pergola in a therapeutic garden are also on offer. Employees will be able to keep in contact with these charities at a later date, as individuals.

 

“The staff of the Customer Service Division are engaged on a daily basis to supporting our customers. Now we’re giving them the opportunity to commit to meeting the occasional needs of a charity within our local ecosystem. We’re delighted with this operation, which is fully in line with our positioning as a socially engaged insurer. At BNP Paribas Cardif, we support numerous charities in the 35 countries we operate in, notably in the areas of entrepreneurship and financial education,” explains Hervé Cazade, Operations Director for BNP Paribas Cardif France, at the initiative of this operation.


Supporting sustainable land management with responsible financing

Nanterre, December 12th 2018

 

According to the new World Atlas of Desertification published by the European Commission in June 2018, over 75% of the Earth’s land area is already degraded, and over 90% could become degraded by 2050. Land degradation is often a consequence of overgrazing, deforestation and intensive farming practices. Furthermore, land and climate are intimately linked: degraded land retains less carbon, and land use accounts for 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. 

 

To address these challenges, sustainable land management is an effective way to combat climate change. Strategies and techniques such as better water management, agroforestry and crop rotation help meet the needs of populations while respecting natural resources. Sustainable land management increases productivity and biodiversity while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

 

However, deploying such solutions on a large scale requires substantial financial resources that cannot be covered by public resources alone. This led to the idea – which took shape during the UN Climate Summit 2014 in New York – of mobilizing private sector financial resources to finance environmental and sustainable development projects.

 

Engaging with this approach, BNP Paribas Cardif invested in 2018 in the Land Degradation Neutrality fund (LDN fund), which aims to restore degraded land and support local agricultural communities by promoting ecologically responsible agriculture. Led by the investment management firm Mirova with support from the United Nations, the European Investment Bank and the French Development Agency, this fund seeks to combine financial performance with positive impact on the environment and local economies.

 

Among the projects expected to be financed through the LDN initiative is a program to develop coffee plantations in Peru, working with local cooperatives of smallholders. This program involves reforestation (including planting a broader mix of timber species), coupled with diversification of revenue sources. The project aims to reforest 90 square kilometres of land, reduce C02 emissions by 1.3 million metric tons, and improve living conditions for 2,400 producers.

 

By supporting some 15 concrete projects, this fund – created through a public-private partnership – contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by the United Nations in 2015. This initiative aims to create or support 100,000 decent jobs, primarily in rural areas of developing nations (SDG No. 8) and to fight poverty, especially in rural areas (SDG No. 1). These investments also contribute to combating climate change and its impacts (SDG No. 13), by eliminating 35 million metric tones of CO2 emissions through funding reforestation and sustainable land management projects spanning more than 5,000 square kilometres.

 

This initiative is part of BNP Paribas Cardif’s comprehensive approach to socially responsible investment. The insurer has announced a commitment to doubling its green investments by 2020 and to accelerating socially responsible investments in order to combine financial performance with positive impact on the environment and society.

 

 

 


BNP Paribas Cardif partners HandiTech Awards

Nanterre, November 15th 2018

Making insurance accessible to the largest possible number of people

The HandiTech Awards ceremony will take place on 19 November, coinciding with the beginning of European Disability Employment Week. The awards recognize players in society who put people at the heart of their innovation initiatives. BNP Paribas Cardif, a global specialist in personal insurance committed to making insurance broadly accessible, will present the award for the best robotics project. The insurer is a partner of the HandiTech Awards, which promote technologies that contribute to progress in addressing social issues, notably creating a more inclusive world for people with disabilities.

BNP Paribas Cardif, a socially engaged company

As a leading provider of insurance for individuals, BNP Paribas Cardif accelerates projects and initiatives that care for people and the environment around the world. With a presence in 35 countries and 100 million clients, the company has made innovation and digitization strategic pillars in order to give the largest possible number of people access to insurance. By taking into account medical advances and technological innovations, BNP Paribas Cardif facilitates access to insurance. This includes regular development of new guarantees and services, reducing exclusions and simplifying the insurance subscription process.

Harnessing innovation to support diversity and inclusion

BNP Paribas pursues numerous initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion.

In 2017, within the framework of its disabilities policy and Corporate Social Responsibility actions, the insurer began working with e-Nable – winner of the first HandiTech Award – to help children with agenesis by making prosthetic hands using 3D printers. This project reflects the company’s interest in new opportunities created by robotics.

By becoming a partner of the 2018 HandiTech Awards, BNP Paribas Cardif reaffirms its commitment to having a positive impact on society.

« As an insurer, the mission of BNP Paribas Cardif is to make insurance available to the largest possible number of people. We work to reinvent insurance by seizing opportunities created by technological progress. We are proud to partner the HandiTech Awards to support an inclusive vision of innovation » said Renaud Dumora, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas Cardif


 

// SAVE THE DATE //

Monday 19 November, Handitech Awards Ceremony

>> Follow the event on Twitter @bnpp_cardif

>> Read a special report on 20 November in Le Figaro Economie


 

Download the press release


Fintech: products aimed at senior citizens gain in maturity

Nanterre, November 13th 2018

Nowadays we mainly hear about financial startups targeting the mass market or focusing on the Millennial generation. However, there are several other specific sections of the population – including for example women and refugees – that are also potential customers of advanced technology. This goes especially for older people, who represent a growing proportion of the US population and nowadays tend to remain in the workforce for a longer period of time.

"The relationship between aging and technology is burgeoning. There has been a good deal of progress in healthcare technology for consumers,” points out Elizabeth Loewy, co-founder and COO at EverSafe, a specialist in financial protection for families. Moreover “Fintech focused on financial health is just beginning to emerge. Ageing baby boomers approaching retirement are interested in using tech and AI for financial planning."

Fintech firms that target the senior segment of the population typically address twin goals: protecting older people’s finances while ensuring that they do not surrender their independence.  One example is online platform Cake, in business for just three years now, which focuses on ‘end-of-life’ decision-making such as managing the customer’s legal and financial affairs and legacy planning. The company helps those looking towards the final phase of their lives to draw up instructions in the legal and financial sphere – basically using digital tools to ensure that their last wishes are honoured. Meanwhile True Link offers a service that includes an investment account plus customised Visa card with specific features designed to safeguard the financial well-being of elderly persons.

The Silver Economy market is a fairly attractive one, given that, according to Elizabeth Loewy, "by 2050 the number of seniors in the US will nearly double. And seniors currently hold more than 70% of the nation’s wealth. More important, I know from my previous role as a fraud prosecutor how common and devastating elder financial abuse is – it kills seniors and shatters families.” Her startup has therefore set itself the mission of protecting elderly people from financial scams and swindles by using algorithms to detect suspicious movements on their bank accounts. In the same vein, the Senior Money Project provides educational videos free of charge to older people to help them spot scams and fraudulent schemes. EverSafe goes even further than this: its software analyses banking data in order to identify any irregularities, such as unusual outgoings, often of high amounts, the existence of new credit cards, outstanding transactions, etc.

EverSafe’s credo is that “protecting the financial security of older adults and their families is a critical aspect of healthcare." It is usually family members who contact the company. "We’re contacted by seniors and ageing baby boomers who are concerned about their parents and loved ones,” reveals the COO. EverSafe also works in partnership with financial sector professionals such as financial planning specialists, brokers, banks, cooperative lending associations, company HR departments, accountants and financial tutors, among others.

This extended vigilance, embracing multiple fields, is absolutely essential, given that the risk of scams or identity-theft increases as people get older and let their guard down. "Enhanced algorithms, machine learning and software that sends alerts to a team of caregivers in real time may very well make elder financial abuse a thing of the past," foresees Elizabeth Loewy, pointing out: "With seniors’ increasing use of online banking and the internet, fraud-monitoring fintech tools can be implemented by financial institutions."

In any case, the senior citizens of today are not quite like those of previous generations. They are generally fitter and in better health, more enthusiastic about modern technology, and keen to prolong their active lives. They are therefore less likely to find employers’ doors closed to them. Lexy Martin, a woman in her seventies who works at Visier Inc., a company that applies Big Data analytics to the HR field, writes in an article: “Even though I am past the average age of retirement, I love my work and am particularly sensitive to the idea that someone could lose the opportunity to work simply because of their age." Drawing on a report on Ageism in the Tech Industry compiled by Visier, she argues that organisations “need to cast their hiring nets wider to gain the skills and expertise they need in a time of a seller’s talent market, and they also need to work to retain the skills and expertise of their existing older workforce, for the same reason."

In a society where getting older is not necessarily associated with declining abilities, the Tech world appears to be fully aware that elderly people can carve out a place for themselves on the supply side of the economy as well as the demand side. As digital tools become ever more widespread, digital solutions are becoming increasingly accessible to all and many Fintech firms clearly understand the importance of addressing a variety of different publics. Might the days of ageism be numbered?

 

How to look after its health from home? It is what BNP Paribas Cardif France proposes with an online health offer for seniors.

Génération Care is a program developped in partnership with doctors to improve and maintain elderly persons' health thanks to their relatives' involvement.

The principle is simple. The idea is to collect patient's datas from 3 instruments - a scale, a tensiometer, a podometer - which send information thanks to a tablet computer. According to these medical information and the limits previously defined by the referring physician, the tablet computer sends advices to the patient and text messages to relatives. If necessary, alerts are sent to a medical platform which will contact the senior to inform him about the process to be followed. Thanks to these information, it is possible to conduct efficient preventive actions to avoid or postpone the loss of autonomy of the patient and the beginning of his dependency.

The solution Génération Care was created by a Scientific Council composed of general practitioners, geritricians, nurses, physiotherapists and nutritionists. Génération Care was successfully tested in 2017 from about fifty patients, thirtty relatives and ten doctors.

BNP Paribas Cardif strive to make insurance accessible to the largest possible number of people. Thanks to this initiative, BNP Paribas Cardif supports the well-aging through a tablet computer application adapted and designed for elderly persons.

 


Written in partnership with l'Atelier


Quel est le rôle des assureurs dans le financement de l'économie ?

Nanterre, le 12 Novembre 2018

En tant qu’assureur, BNP Paribas Cardif gère, dans une perspective de long terme, l’épargne confiée par ses assurés et contribue activement à la croissance de l’économie. Ces investissements permettent de répondre aux besoins de rendement de ses clients tout en bénéficiant à l’économie. BNP Paribas Cardif soutient les entreprises dans divers domaines et sous des formes variées : des grandes entreprises aux start-up en passant par les entreprises de l’économie sociale et solidaire. En 2017, l’assureur a investi 12% de son fonds général en actions et a également financé l’économie à travers l’achat de dette avec une part importante d’obligations corporate dans son allocation d’actifs.

 

Le Fonds Stratégique de Participations, dont BNP Paribas Cardif est l’un des membres fondateurs, a choisi de s’engager dans le secteur des énergies renouvelables en investissant dans Neoen, le premier producteur français indépendant d’énergie verte. Cette intiative illustre le rôle fondamental de l’assurance au service du financement de l’économie réelle. « Lorsque nous prenons des participations de long terme dans le capital de sociétés françaises à fort potentiel de croissance, nous leur donnons les moyens de grandir. Nous devenons un actionnaire stable et significatif afin d’apporter un support à leur stratégie de développement », explique Olivier Héreil, Directeur général adjoint de BNP Paribas Cardif en charge des Gestions d’actifs.

 

BNP Paribas Cardif a progressivement accru son rôle dans le financement des PME[1] et ETI[2] en investissant notamment dans les fonds NOVO[3] et NOVI[4] pour financer la croissance et l’innovation de ces entreprises. L’intégration du private equity dans son offre d’assurance vie en 2016 représente également un soutien fondamental aux entreprises, à chaque étape de leur développement. « Investir au capital d’une ETI, au travers d’un fonds d’investissement, c’est lui donner les moyens d’accompagner sa croissance afin qu’elle puisse exporter et développer de nouveaux produits ou services », décrypte Olivier Héreil.

 

BNP Paribas Cardif investit aussi dans une dizaine de start-up dans le cadre de son fonds d’investissement C. Entrepreneurs. L’assureur accompagne des start-up, de toutes origines, qui développent des technologies ou des services qui contribuent à inventer les solutions d’assurance de demain dans de nombreux domaines tels que l'intelligence artificielle, le machine learning, la blockchain ou la voiture connectée.

 

En tant qu’investisseur engagé, BNP Paribas Cardif soutient les entreprises de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire (ESS). Cette volonté s’est récemment illustrée par sa participation au fonds NovESS, lancé par la Caisse des Dépôts. L’ESS, qui représente 10 % du PIB français et 10,5 % de l’emploi salarié, présente des besoins de financement importants, notamment en matière de fonds propres. Le fonds NovESS vise à soutenir les entreprises de l’ESS innovantes socialement et à les faire changer d’échelle.

 

En agissant sur ces différents leviers, l’assurance tient le rôle qui est le sien : accompagner et protéger les ménages et les entreprises tout en soutenant le financement de l’économie réelle. « Nous gérons, dans une perspective de long terme, l’épargne confiée par nos assurés avec une double conviction : combiner performance financière et impact positif sur la société », ajoute Olivier Héreil.

 

 

 

[1] Petites et Moyennes Entreprises

[2] Entreprises de Taille Intermédiaire

[3] Fonds de Prêt à l’Economie

[4] Fonds de Prêt à l’Economie


Cap Green, a new offer from AEP to protect capital while seizing opportunities created by the energy transition

Nanterre, 06 November 2018

AEP, a commercial brand of BNP Paribas Cardif and a major player in life insurance investment solutions for high net worth individuals, has introduced a new offer eligible for inclusion in capitalization contracts for legal entities subject to corporate tax. Cap Green enables clients to benefit from the performance of equity markets while protecting their capital.

A new offer to protect invested capital  

Cap Green offers asset allocation that complete protects funds invested thanks to a combination of euro fund investments and a structured product. Proposed within the scope of capitalization contracts for legal entities subject to corporate tax, Cap Green has several distinctive features:

  • Split asset allocation, with 60% in the euro fund and 40% in a structured product,

  • Capital protection over a medium-term horizon (between 4 and 5 years),

  • A socially responsible investment (SRI) via an energy transition index.

Socially responsible investment for meaningful savings 

The share allocated to the structured product within the Cap Green offer is linked to the Euronext Eurozone Energy Transition Leaders 50EW Decrement 5% index, which has been selected by Vigeo Eiris, a European leader in ESG research. Vigeo Eiris assigns each company an Energy Transition score, which is applied to select the 50 companies with the best scores among the 75 largest market capitalizations in the euro zone.

This new offer centered on the energy transition is aligned with BNP Paribas Cardif’s responsible investing strategy. The insurer manages the funds entrusted to it by policyholders with a long-term perspective, combining financial performance with a positive impact on society. BNP Paribas Cardif has long held a firm belief that the progressively taking into account Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria contributes to maintaining better living conditions for its clients today, and for their beneficiaries in the future.

Cap Green makes it possible to benefit from both the long-term performance of equity markets and the security of euro fund investments. What’s more, this offer gives relevant meaning to savings by actively supporting the energy transition,” says Bruno Valersteinas, Director of banking and corporate partnerships, BNP Paribas Cardif France.

 

About BNP Paribas Cardif

World leader for creditor insurance[1] , BNP Paribas Cardif plays an essential role in the lives of insured customers, providing them with savings and protection solutions that let them realize their goals while protecting themselves from unforeseen events. As a committed enterprise, BNP Paribas Cardif strives to have a positive impact on society and make insurance accessible to the largest possible number of people. In a world shaped by the emergence of new uses and lifestyles, the company, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, has a unique business model anchored in partnerships. It co-creates solutions with almost 500 partners distributors in a variety of sectors (banks and financial institutions, automotive companies, retailers, telecommunications companies, energy companies, Independent Financial Advisors and brokers…) who then market the products to their customers. BNP Paribas Cardif is a recognized global specialist in personal insurance, serving 100 million clients in 35 countries with strong positions in three regions – Europe, Asia and Latin America. BNP Paribas Cardif also plays a major role in providing financing for the economy. With over 10,000 employees[2] worldwide, BNP Paribas Cardif had gross written premiums of €29.7 billion in 2017.

About AEP

AEP is a commercial brand of BNP Paribas Cardif that designs and markets savings products for high net worth clients of private banks, asset management firms and brokerage platforms.

 

BNP Paribas Cardif press contacts:

Valérie Oberlin – 01 41 42 78 17 – valerie.oberlin@bnpparibas.com

Marion Saraf – 01 41 42 70 71 – marion.saraf@bnpparibas.com

Caroline Le Roux – 01 41 42 65 61 – caroline.leroux@bnpparibas.com


 

Download the press release


 


[1] Source: Finaccord - 2017

[2] Headcount of legal entities managed by BNP Paribas Cardif: nearly 8,000 employees


IDD, Europe sets a new standard for sales

Nanterre, 2 October 2018
How we sell insurance to half a billion European citizens is getting much clearer. Banks,department stores, automobile concessions and other distributors can implement the EU's Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) since October 1st. This is an opportunity for the distributors to enhance the sales experience for improved customer satisfaction.

 

The general features and attractions of insurance policies has became clearer for over half a billion people when the European Union’s Insurance Distributive Directive (IDD) comes into force this month.

The legislation gives consumers across the 28 Member States, from Ireland to Cyprus, a better picture of what they are buying from insurance distributors ; and insurance distributors a new form of obligation to understand consumer needs.

The aims are to better match individuals’ needs with the insurance products they buy; and reduce inappropriate selling.The IDD applies to life and non-life insurance,including products such as accident cover or creditor protection. It affects not just distributors but advisers and insurers themselves. Major players such as BNP Paribas Cardif, active in 17 Member States, have actively prepared for IDD’s arrival on October 1st. BNP Paribas Cardif sees IDD as a tremendous opportunity to better ensure that the products correspond to the customer’s needs , improve their experience of the sales process and equally protect the brand of distribution partners.“We are here to offer ongoing support in all aspects of the new legislation and its impact,” says Xavier Cognat, Director for Institutional Affairs at BNP Paribas Cardif.

IDD’s first requirement is to ensure that insurance products are sold to their intended target market. For example retirees should be outside of the target market of products offering salary protection. The responsibility of selling within a target market is ongoing and BNP Paribas Cardif is ready to assist partners establish a monitoring programme.

Secondly, each prospective customer Is presented with a simple document outlining what any insurance policy does and does not cover; where it applies; how long it lasts and other key features.

The official template for the Insurance Product Information Document (IPID) below gives a general sense of the tone and contents expected. The IPID is the protection industry’s equivalent to Key Investor Information Document (KIID) for savings products in the European Union. The IPID is designed to be transparent and easy to understand for customers

allowing them to easily compare features of different insurance products.

BNP Paribas Cardif provides the IPIDs to its partners, who are responsible for presenting them to their customers during the pre-contractual stage of any sale. Prospective customers must also be informed of the nature of remuneration earned by the distributor. The legislation seeks to ensure that the incentives to sell products do not conflict with the customer’s best interests.

 

 

 

 

 

On this point, it is worth noting that in some countries the rate of remuneration must also be disclosed (eg creditor protection in Italy, and protection insurance in Sweden). This is a reminder that the IDD is a minimum standards regulation. Any of the 28 countries in the European Union can impose higher standards, which means distributors have to divulge more information to potential customers, depending on which countries they operate in. BNP Paribas Cardif is on hand to help partners understand differences in national regulations and follow local best practice.

Customers must also be clear on whether they are being advised when buying an insurance product.

The distinction between advised and non-advised is yet another practice to ensure individuals are clear on the service being offered. In both cases, distributors have to document that customers’needs have been met. BNP Paribas Cardif sees this as an opportunity to build up customer profiles using the latest technology and is sharing its savoir-faire in digitalization, data management and algorithms with partners.

Howewer, digitalisation will not replace the human sales force any time soon. The IDD formalises the need for continuous training. Employees responsible for selling protection insurance (including managers of the salesforce) must receive at least 15 hours training per year. The training, depending on member states transpositions, can take many forms, including digital learning and classroom sessions. Derogations to training requirements apply for distributors selling ancillary cover for mobile phone or extended warrantee.

 

Finally, distributors should be aware of the effect of IDD on selling insurance products ancillary to a good or aservice as part of a package. The legislation favours transparency and customer choice. So for example where mortgage providers can require customers to take out payment protection, IDD prefers an openmarket choice over an exclusive restriction to buy the protection from the mortgage provider. To understand further how insurance offerings need to be clarified,BNP Paribas Cardif welcomes the chance to explain these new regulations to its partners.